Originally Posted by murgatroid42
Get a used bike for your first bike. The Honda Rebel hasn't changed in years. You should be able to find a hardly used one in good condition. Let someone else take the depreciation hit; you should be able to sell it for nearly what you pay for it. If it fits you, it's good for you; the Rebel is a great starter bike.
Eventually, when you get a few thousand miles experience, you might want a larger bike if you take longer trips on the interstate. Remember that your first bike is not your last bike. But do not start with a big bike and expect to "grow into it". That's a recipe for disaster.
Take the MSC course, get a bike that you are comfortable with now, ride it often, and enjoy it. You are approaching motorcycling the right way.
Thanks, Murgatroid! I appeciate your vote of confidence! I sat on some dual sports but didn't feel comfortable with having to touch the ground with my tippie toes only!